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2024 March Madness predictions: Expert picks against the spread, NCAA odds in Saturday second-round games

The 2024 NCAA Tournament has officially moved on to its second round with non-stop March Madness action entering the weekend. Games continue Saturday at 12:45 p.m. ET, as the field will shrink from 32 to 24 teams ahead of contests being played Sunday to wrap up the second round.

The sun-up to sun-down schedule continues through the weekend, though there will be fewer games played head-to-head, which allows for a more complete viewing experience. While we know you no longer have a perfect bracket (don’t lie), hopefully you are still in competition to win your bracket pool. Either way, it never hurts to ensure you have a reason to be tuned into each game other than the friendly competition.

Our CBS Sports experts have convened to provide you further insight into Saturday’s second-round games with picks straight up and against the spread. Our expert brackets may offer some help, too, especially if you’re considering seed-line upsets.

The NCAA Tournament is all about surviving and advancing, but for those plunking down on their coach or pulling up to their desk to consume as much March Madness content as possible — especially over the next two days — which teams cover their spreads will be quite important as well. The CBS Sports college basketball experts have been covering the sport for years and certainly all season since November, and they are not shy with their picks for these games.

Be sure to stick with CBS Sports for the rest of the month as NCAA Tournament coverage continues through the end of the Final Four. Let’s take a look at our expert picks as the second round begins Saturday.

Odds via SportsLine concensus | All times Eastern

2024 NCAA Tournament picks

(2) Arizona vs. (7) Dayton

Saturday, 12:45 p.m. | CBS, March Madness LiveStylistically, this has a chance to be a real oil-and-water situation with Arizona an up-tempo, push-the-pace team and Dayton at its best dragging you through the mud. Arizona’s balance on both ends may be too tough to overcome for the Flyers, but their size in the frontcourt and depth in the backcourt could be enough to make this closer than expected late. Pick: Dayton +9.5 — Kyle Boone

Parrish Norlander Palm Patterson Boone Cobb
Spread ZONA -9.5 DAY +9.5 ZONA -9.5 ZONA -9.5 DAY +9.5 ZONA -9.5

Straight up

ZONA

ZONA

ZONA

ZONA

ZONA

ZONA

(4) Kansas vs. (5) Gonzaga

Saturday, 3:15 p.m. | CBS, March Madness LiveWhile it didn’t show in Kansas’ first-round win over Samford because of the pace and style employed by the undersized Bulldogs, the Jayhawks are not themselves offensively without Kevin McCullar Jr. The injured star wing is the best isolation shot-creator on KU’s roster. Without him, the Jayhawks can struggle to find quality looks. Gonzaga doesn’t have great guard depth, but the Zags are reasonably well-equipped to bang inside with KU star center Hunter Dickinson. Gonzaga is also playing with confidence right now, and it’s safe to say Kansas is not during what’s been a tumultuous season. Pick: Gonzaga -4 — David Cobb

Parrish Norlander Palm Patterson Boone Cobb
Spread KAN +4 ZAGS -4 ZAGS -4 ZAGS -4 ZAGS -4 ZAGS -4

Straight up

ZAGS

ZAGS

ZAGS

ZAGS

ZAGS

ZAGS

(2) Iowa State vs. (7) Washington State

Saturday, 6:10 p.m. | TNT, March Madness LiveThe Cyclones have not let up on the gas from their Big 12 Tournament tear, and their top gear is more than capable of putting together another double-digit win. Washington State stormed back after Drake left the door open late in the second half, and Iowa State isn’t the kind of team that would let that happen.  Pick: Iowa State -7 — Chip Patterson

Parrish Norlander Palm Patterson Boone Cobb
Spread ISU -7 WSU +7 ISU -7 ISU -7 ISU -7 WSU +7

Straight up

ISU

WSU

ISU

ISU

ISU

ISU

(2) Tennessee vs. (7) Texas

Saturday, 8 p.m. | CBS, March Madness LiveRick Barnes vs. his old school steals headlines, but Texas and its potent offense drawing a matchup against this stingy Volunteers defense is the real story. Coming off an abysmal 56-point outing vs. Colorado State in the first round, the Longhorns are due for a bounce-back effort on offense with the offensive weaponry to turn this into a shootout. Pick: Texas +6.5 — Kyle Boone

Parrish Norlander Palm Patterson Boone Cobb
Spread TENN -6.5 TENN -6.5 TEXAS +6.5 TEXAS +6.5 TEXAS +6.5 TEXAS +6.5

Straight up

TENN

TENN

TENN

TENN

TENN

TENN

Who will win every college basketball game, and which favorites should be on upset alert? Visit SportsLine now to get picks and predictions for every college basketball game, all from a model that simulates every game 10,000 times.

(3) Illinois vs. (11) Duquesne

Saturday, 8:40 p.m. | TNT, March Madness LiveThe trick for Duquesne in taking out BYU was defending the 3-point line and taking defenders 1-on-1 off the dribble in key situations. Slowing down Illinois won’t be so simple. The Illini have two of the best pure scorers in the tournament: Terrence Shannon Jr. and Marcus Domask. Defending them every possession over the course of 40 minutes will takes its toll on the Dukes. While Illinois has its struggles defensively, its players have the physical tools to stop straight-line drives to the basket in a way that BYU couldn’t. Pick: Illinois -10.5 — David Cobb

Parrish Norlander Palm Patterson Boone Cobb
Spread DUQ +10.5 DUQ +10.5 ILL -10.5 DUQ +10.5 ILL -10.5 ILL -10.5

Straight up

ILL

ILL

ILL

ILL

ILL

ILL

(3) Creighton vs. (11) Oregon

Saturday, 9:40 p.m. | TBS, March Madness LiveThe Ducks have a way to neutralize Ryan Kalkbrenner a little bit with star big man N’Faly Dante, and there’s enough perimeter versatility to think Oregon can be disruptive on the perimeter. If the Bluejays can’t get into the flow of their offense, they are more than beatable, and this is a 50-50 game to me. That’s value on the underdog. Pick: Oregon +5 — Chip Patterson

Parrish Norlander Palm Patterson Boone Cobb
Spread CREI -5 CREI -5 CREI -5 ORE +5 ORE +5 CREI -5

Straight up

CREI

CREI

CREI

ORE

CREI

CREI

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